DENVER (AP) — Hours before the game, Troy Tulowitzki gingerly jogged around the outfield grass on legs he described as feeling "heavy."
That's all Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss needed to hear to keep his All-Star shortstop out of the lineup Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.
When it comes to Tulowitzki, the Rockies are going to lean heavily on the side of caution, especially given his history with leg injuries. Weiss thought it simply "makes sense to let him lay low tonight."
No reason to rush him out there, not at this stage of the season and especially not when it involves his legs.
"I'm all right," Tulowitzki said after finishing up a lap around the diamond and heading into the clubhouse.
Tulowitzki missed a majority of 2012 with a groin injury that eventually required surgery to remove scar tissue. He also sat out a stretch of games in 2008 with a quadriceps tear.
The cleanup hitter took a day off earlier this week with a sore left shoulder following an awkward slide into home plate at Arizona.
"I'm thinking one game," Weiss said of Tulowitzki's playing status. "Don't know for sure. Just one of those precautionary things. Just some soreness in his legs. Nothing major."
Tulowitzki is off to a torrid start, hitting .317 with six homers and a team-leading 24 RBIs.
With his bat out of the lineup, Michael Cuddyer slid into the fourth spot, while Jonathan Herrera took over at short.
Colorado may soon have two players back on the roster, with first baseman Todd Helton (forearm strain) and pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (back strain) each scheduled to come off the 15-day disabled list on Sunday.
Asked how his arm was feeling, Helton simply said, "I'm good. I really think I'm good. I feel great."
Weiss said he doesn't expect Helton to need a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Colorado Springs to get his timing back before joining the Rockies.
"Todd is one of those guys who could wake up on Christmas morning and hit a couple of doubles," Weiss said. "I don't think his swing needs a whole lot of fine tuning."
Chacin said he was feeling no lingering pain in his back and could return to the rotation as soon as Sunday. For the moment, Tyler Chatwood is scheduled to get the start against the Rays.
"But all thing are pointing toward Jhoulys starting on Sunday," said Weiss, who wasn't prepared just yet to announce corresponding moves to make room for Helton and Chacin.